Half the forest fire budget has already been spent

Forests Minister Pat Bell says 30 million dollars has already been spent this year battling wildfires across the province.

That’s almost half the entire 2009 forest fire budget — although the season is barely one-quarter over… [asset|aid=1544|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=fe17a08872a26b694a6a46665c0231eb-Pat Bell_2_Pub.mp3]

Meanwhile, three fires of note are still burning in Northeastern BC.

The big one east of the Smith and Liard River junction, along the Alaska Highway was at last report yesterday afternoon, still over 23,000 hectares.

However, fire crews are making some progress and it is now about 35 percent contained…and in addition, a second, but much smaller fire, in the same general area is now 60 percent contained.

Nonetheless, smoke is still a problem for motorists and highway travel delays should still be anticipated today.

There’s not much new to report on the 300 hectare fire 12 miles northeast of Prophet River. It’s about 500 meters away from the Alaska Highway and about 300 meters from a cabin, but the Prince George Fire Cetre says it is not immediately threatened.